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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts

    • Tracey Taylor ;



    Tracey Taylor1, Anuja Ghorpade2, Kathleen Borgmann2.

    1Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, 2University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX.

    Approximately forty million people worldwide live with the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), which can progress into HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). Research suggests that pro-inflammatory proteins and other biomarkers may correlate with the level of neurological impairment in seropositive patients. The purpose of the study is to identify biomarkers that may correlate with neurocognitive decline in patients of varying gender, race, age, and disease progression. A study visit includes a review of HIV-1 relevant patient history, a socio-demographic survey, a neurocognitive assessment, and a donation of 30-40 milliliters (ml) of blood. Plasma samples isolated from patient blood were analyzed by ELISAs specific to human soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), interleukin (IL)-6, CCL2 or monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1. Biomarker levels were correlated to neurocognitive assessments, socio-demographic responses, and relevant measures of HIV-1 infection medical history. The inflammatory biomarkers CCL2 and TIMP-1 were elevated in the HIV-1 seropositive cohort as compared to non-infected controls. Further, as the neurocognitive abilities of the patient cohort declined, levels of CCL2, IL-6, and TIMP-1 were correspondingly elevated. While sCD40L demonstrated no significant correlations between infection status, longevity, or neurocognitive score, the inflammatory protein showed consistent, positive trends. Although patient T-cell counts did not correlate significantly with inflammatory biomarkers, trends were seen that may improve upon analyzing the entire cohort. Our data shows that inflammatory biomarkers may play an important role in predicting HIV-1 disease progression through the comparison of plasma samples within the HIV-1 seropositive population.